“Mass mode shift away from car use to walking, cycling, public transport and new, shared mobility options will be essential to decarbonising London’s roads, as outlined in LCC’s earlier Climate Safe Streets report,” stated the LCC. “The arrival of e-scooters offers a cleaner, low carbon alternative to cars, and buses with space restrictions, for those who can’t or don’t want to cycle, that will help clean up London’s air and tackle climate change.”
To maximise the impact of these new technologies, LCC is calling for e-scooters to be legalised and allowed to use cycle tracks. LCC is also calling for a redoubling of programmes to increase protected road space for both cycling and the range of new electric micromobilities that includes e-bikes, e-scooters and e-cargo bikes.
The charity has welcomed current Government plans for shared e-scooter trials as a step forward but says it would like to see the opportunity to try e-scooters extended beyond the holders of driving licenses, as currently proposed.
Although a trial of shared e-scooters is proposed in the UK, the battery-powered vehicles, which have been seen increasingly on our city streets, are currently not legal on public footpaths, pavements, bridleways or carriageways.
The LCC Policy Forum’s in-depth research paper, summarising the latest evidence on micromobility forms and their take-up globally, suggests that catering appropriately for these new personal and freight travel modes, alongside cycling and walking, would help create the less polluted, climate-safe streets that urban dwellers want to see post-pandemic. It would cut private motor car use and enable more and a wider range of people to move about without using motor vehicles.
The paper highlights the similarities between pedal cycles, e-scooters and e-bikes in terms of speeds and mass: as small, relatively light and unenclosed vehicles they all face road danger from cars and lorries; and safety gains for these modes come collectively by providing segregated space for their use.
The full report can be downloaded here.